News & Multimedia

Two-Time Academy Award Winning Film Maker Ron Howard To Drive '400' Pace Car At IMS

Two-time Academy Award®-winning director Ron Howard will drive the Pace Car and lead the field of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series superstars to the green flag at the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com on Sunday, July 29, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it was announced July 20.

Howard has become an entertainment legend as a director, producer and actor. He has directed worldwide blockbusters including “A Beautiful Mind,” “Angels & Demons,” “Apollo 13,” “Backdraft,” “Cinderella Man,” “Cocoon,” “Parenthood,” “Splash,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “Willow” and many more. He received Oscars® for Best Director and Best Picture in 2001 for “A Beautiful Mind” and was nominated for Best Director in 2008 for “Frost/Nixon.”

Howard will be making his first visit to the historic speedway as a guest of, and to shadow, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and his No. 24 Drive to End Hunger team.

Howard’s upcoming epic-action drama, “Rush,” stars Chris Hemsworth (“The Avengers”) as the charismatic Englishman James Hunt and Daniel Brühl (“Inglourious Basterds”) as the disciplined Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda, whose clashes on the Grand Prix racetrack epitomized the contrast between these two extraordinary characters, a distinction reflected in their private lives. “Rush” is currently in postproduction and will be released in 2013.

“It’s a great honor to welcome a true legend, Ron Howard, to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. “Ron has become immersed in motorsports’ culture and history through the filming of ‘Rush,’ so he’s an ideal person to pace the field for one of NASCAR’s biggest races at ‘The Greatest Race Course in the World.’”

The Pace Car for the 19th annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at IMS will be announced soon.

“I’ve been a longtime admirer of Jeff’s work both on and off the track,” Howard said. “Not only is he a stellar driver, but his commitment to ending older hunger in America shows his passion for helping others. I’m honored to drive the Pace Car at IMS, and I thank NASCAR for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Howard made his screen acting debut when he was 18 months old in the 1956 movie “Frontier Woman,” which led to a role for Howard at the age of 2 in a stage production of “The Seven-Year Itch.”

He was introduced to America on a much grander scale at age 6 when in 1960 he was cast in the role of Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show,” which led to major motion-picture appearances in the “The Music Man” in 1962 and “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” in 1963.

Following his run with “The Andy Griffith Show” that ended in 1968, Howard starred with Henry Fonda in “The Smith Family” before entering the University of Southern California’s film school in 1972. Howard’s role in the 1973 George Lucas film, “American Graffiti,” led him to the leading role of Richie Cunningham in the hit television sitcom “Happy Days” from 1974-84.

Additional film roles came Howard’s way, including a starring role in John Wayne’s final movie, “The
Shootist,” in 1976 that wrapped in time for Howard to direct his first motion picture, “Grand Theft Auto,” in 1977.

Howard met Academy Award®-winning producer Brian Grazer in 1981, and they produced and directed “Night Shift, a comedy featuring Howard’s “Happy Days” co-star Henry Winkler. Two years later, the duo created the hit film “Splash,” starring Tom Hanks, Darryl Hannah and John Candy. Howard and Grazer created Imagine Films Entertainment, which produced such hit films as “Willow” (1988), “Parenthood” (1989), “Backdraft” (1989), “Apollo 13” (1995) and “Ransom” (1996), all directed by Howard.

|IMS will be the epicenter of American stock car racing and North American sports car racing July 26-29, 2012, as the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing will join the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for four exciting races during the inaugural Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard.

It will be the first time in IMS history that races will take place on the 2.5-mile oval and 2.534-mile Grand Prix road course during the same weekend, and GRAND-AM Road Racing and the NASCAR Nationwide Series will make their IMS racing debuts, respectively, Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28. The weekend will culminate Sunday, July 29, with the running of the 19th annual Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Two-Time Academy Award Winning Film Maker Ron Howard To Drive '400' Pace Car At IMS
 
Two-Time Academy Award Winning Film Maker Ron Howard To Drive '400' Pace Car At IMS
Two-time Academy Award®-winning director Ron Howard will drive the Pace Car and lead the field of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series superstars to the green flag at the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com on Sunday, July 29, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it was announced July 20.
Read More
Related Media
Hulman Terrace Club
 
TAG Heuer Becomes Presenting Sponsor of Hulman Terrace Club
TAG Heuer – a pioneer in motorsports sponsorship for over 50 years – has become a presenting sponsor of the Hulman Terrace Club at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. TAG Heuer already is the “Official Timepiece of the Indy 500” and “Official Timepiece of the Verizon IndyCar Series.” In March 2018, just in time for the start of the season in St. Petersburg, Florida, TAG Heuer announced the extension of its partnership with IMS and the series for the next three years.
Read More
Brickyard 400
 
NASCAR Unveils 2019 Season Schedule
NASCAR released the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule on Tuesday.
Read More
Florida Georiga Line
 
Florida Georgia Line To Headline FGL Fest during NASCAR Weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Global superstars Florida Georgia Line will perform live Saturday, Sept. 8 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the track’s 25th annual NASCAR weekend, an expansion of an exciting, unique partnership between IMS and Big Machine Records that also will place the chart-topping duo into the race’s name for years to come.
Read More
NASCAR
 
NASCAR to Expand In-Car Camera Live Streams on Twitter in 2018
NASCAR® announced March 14 it will live-stream one in-car camera on Twitter for 15 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ races during the second half of the 2018 racing season, including all 10 NASCAR Playoffs races.
Read More
Kevin Harvick
 
Harvick Captures Third Straight Win in 2018, Triumphs at Phoenix
Harvick beat Kyle Busch to the finish line by .774 seconds to win his third straight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series of the season, the first time a driver has strung three victories together since Busch accomplished the feat at Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indianapolis in 2015.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 822
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at hospitalitysales@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21